It used to be that women were defined by the contributions to the family and household. Today women (and some men) are trying to reshape what they are defined by. Today, we have men (and some women) screaming from the rooftops that women have lost their femininity. I call B.S. The previous definition of femininity was one that women of generations past were not able to define, not without being labeled agitators and family killers. This isn't to say that women weren't content or even happy with the roles they had but here's the thing and there's really no way about it: We don't know what we don't know and these women, based specifically and strictly on their lack of access to things that could give them a different perspective, were sheltered. What's more, their husbands and fathers, who benefited from their roles, would just as soon keep the roles of women unchanged.
Today, we criticize women for not being able to be homemakers, cooks, maids, wives, and wage earners at the same time. Perhaps they can be. I know a lot of single mothers who play each of these roles with the exception of wives. Perhaps they can't without significant stress. The real question isn't whether or not they can, it's why they should be expected to and why we choose to criticize them when they try.
Of course, the answers to these questions are simple. They should not be expected to but who else is going to cook and clean and play wife? (Insert eye roll) We criticize them when they try because we feel as though the re-defining of their 'roles' makes life harder for others who, again, benefit from their traditional 'roles'.
There will be a new normal eventually. For starters, today's younger men, to a far greater degree than those who came before them, are growing up with a different understanding and expectation of women's roles. As well, women aren't simply standing pat or lying down when someone challenges their roles, their confidence, etc., they're more emboldened. I love this, by the way. You teach people how to treat you by virtue of what you expect (equality) versus what you accept (inequality).
I just wish that we would stop suggesting that women are redefining feminism, as if they ever really had a choice in how it was defined to begin with.
And to those who will comment that the way it was made the family better, I reply in kind: Better for who?